M7 CANCELS KAZO WINNER, GIVES FLAG TO KAMUKAMA DURING STORMY CEC MEET
By Mulengera Reporters
“He who laughs last, laughs best,” goes the old adage. And this is something that appropriately applies to Kazo NRM flag bearer aspirant Molly Kamukama who has finally been proclaimed the ruling party flag bearer for the new district’s woman MP slot. The new development or reality, imposed by CEC which is the top most organ of the ruling party, amounts to a vote of no confidence in both the party’s Electoral Commission and the Elections Disputes Tribunal that was established to help deescalate all election-related tensions inside the country’s largest political party.
During the Friday 4th August NRM primaries, Molly Kamukama (also the minister in charge of Economic Monitoring) was allocated 16,715 votes against Jennifer Abaho Muheesi who was allocated 16,802 and accordingly declared winner for the race that attracted a significant number of aspirants including NRM youth leader Ann Ruyondo Lumumba. Kamukama (the immediate former PPS to HE the President) has since been fighting to reverse what she maintained was sham election results’ declaration. On getting aggrieved, the former PPS appealed to the NRM EC headquarters in Kampala where Dr. Odoi Tanga turned his back on her. He inappropriately called her a manipulative bad loser and the matter was subsequently referred to the NRM Elections Tribunal where the indefatigable Kamukama still didn’t get justice.
This left her with no option but to refer the matter to Court whereby her big-name lawyers of Tumusiime Kabega & Co Advocates were ready to use the Mbarara High Court to undress the vote thieves of Kazo (see related reporting here https://mulengeranews.com/minister-kamukama-seeks-court-order-to-block-opponent-muheesis-nomination/). It’s a case that many victims of malpractices in NRM primaries were looking forward to as something that can give them some reprieve. It appears, the court case (which could potentially attract scrutiny to many decisions relating to NRM primaries including the prudence of President Museveni’s directive that everybody votes in total disregard of whether they are on the register or not) must have severely frightened members of the top party organ (CEC) to weigh in before it gets too late. The Kamukama case was going to cause many of the ruling party election-related cobwebs to be unmasked and thereby demonizing the party on the eve of such a major general election.
BAD DAY FOR TANGA
And the opportunity for Gen Museveni and his CEC members to right the wrongs in the Kazo poll came during yesterday Friday’s CEC meeting that was held at State House. Mulengera News sources at the meeting say that the big man from Rwakitura was in such a furious mood that whoever he directed his wrath at became too terrified and cowed to even defend themselves. The NRM EC Chairman Dr. Odoi Tanga was one such villain; he was accused of so many things and yet he was too deflated to say anything in self-defense. Dr. Tanga came with his other Commissioners but that didn’t do enough to give him guts to fight back. He remained calmly seated; uneasily turning in his seat as all manner of scorn was poured at his EC for doing such an imprudent job.
Asserting that the Kazo poll was totally messed up like many others elsewhere in the country, Gen Museveni and CEC members decreed that Molly Kamukama be immediately declared the winner because Muhesi’s win resulted from electoral fraud and improper decision-making by the Odoi Tanga-led EC. “That was the directive and unanimous decision of CEC which will officially be declared anytime this weekend. It’s the final decision nobody is going to be able to change. It’s sealed and fait accompli [meaning it’s a reality that affected parties just have to accept] as lawyers say,” CEC sources told Mulengera News.
This leaves Jennifer Muheesi, whose husband is a senior soldier in UPDF, with very limited options including challenging the same in court or accepting CEC’s final verdict and prepare to run as an independent in general elections, a thing that naturally will diminish her chances of making it in the 11th Parliament because Kazo is one Museveni stronghold where carrying the NRM flag is as good as winning Justice Simon Byabakama’s general elections. But going to court equally has its own ramifications including complicating her spouse Gen Muhesi’s relationship his Commander in Chief who is none other than Gen Museveni himself (chair of CEC).
During the Friday CEC meeting, Gen Museveni (who kept walking out of the meeting in anger every after spitting fire directed at deflating Tanga & his EC Commissioners and some tribunal members) shared contents of a huge intelligence report showing the extent to which the 4th August exercise was hugely discredited. He expressed resentment towards the fact that at all levels (NRM EC, appeals and tribunal stage) those who had money were permitted to use it to procure and fortify their ill-gotten electoral victories.
“I’m very disappointed that despite all the money [in billions] I gave these people to organize credible elections, the rich and mighty were allowed to procure electoral victories at the expense of those who the voters genuinely elected,” sources quoted Gen Museveni as saying to justify his decision to rely on his own intelligence findings to reverse some of the flag bearer-related decisions made by Tanga’s EC and the tribunal. Gen Museveni was so furious he said he had obtained information that even the tribunal (in which he initially had a lot of trust) had some of its members compromised by those who offered money. He implied he can’t be proud anymore of leading a party whose flag bearership goes to the highest bidder.
Gen Museveni’s resentment at the Friday meeting towards the NRM EC (about which the workaholic SG Kasule Lumumba had previously raised a red flag) was reinforced by the powerful Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga who corroborated the Chairman’s information by claiming to have credible information that in some cases the rich parted with as much as Shs200m to secure their flag bearership status. Gen Museveni implied he has very hard evidence implicating some officials making it prudent for them not to dare contradict what he was saying at the meeting because should they provoke him into disclosing more, many of them would wish the ground swallowed them.
Emboldened by the courage with which Kadaga spoke against the NRM EC officials in their presence, other CEC members opened up testifying about similar or worse flag bearer-related corruption manifesting in their respective areas where they come or operate from. That is how consensus was built that electoral reversals must be expected and ordered by CEC not just in Molly Kamukama’s Kazo but many other places were similar mischief played out including Ruth Katushabe’s Bukomansimbi North. There will be resumption of the CEC session on Sunday still at State House where consensus will continue to be generated on many other issues regarding the ruling party’s preparedness regarding 2021 general elections. On Sunday, CEC members will also complete on the reconciliation and audit report from the tribunal whereafter a final decision will be taken on each of the disputed flag bearer races. At the time of writing this story, the NRM officials were reflecting and contemplating on the best way to officially announce the electoral reversals without escalating the situation or opening old wounds that were beginning to heal in the respective communities where disputed election results were imposed by both the EC and the tribunal whose modus operandi Gen Museveni eloquently disputed as we are going to show in our subsequent story/coverage of the Friday CEC session. (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994, 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org).